|Looks like I won't have to kill anyone . . . today.|
I was digging up a weird 2-star review that I received for THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE a few weeks back , and I stumbled on the following recent 5-star review, which really made my day. So I had to share it:
The last couple of years have brought a slew of wonderful steampunk adventures with resourceful, kick-ass heroines, and this one by McCandless is a worthy addition. Aubrey Hartmann is a veteran of recent war, having lost the lower part of one leg, and now works as a constable. Her prosthetic is a clockwork device that needs to be rewound regularly and isn’t a perfect fit but does keep her mobile, if in pain. As a result, she’s become addicted to laudanum (opium). Her current assignment involves investigating the murder of a druwyd (druid, local witch-doctor holy man) in a little town near the Fae-ruled Dark Wood. Here is where the world-building of The Clockwork Detective sharply deviates from the usual Victorian gears-and-whistles steampunk. Magic is not only real, it’s part of everyday life, and the human wars are overshadowed by the possibility of a terrible conflict with the Fae.
Aubrey’s research leads her into the Dark Wood to question the denizens there, those being centaurs, who are not only fierce fighters but wonderfully oblique and weird. The blending of Victorian mechanistic steampunk, mythology, and magic is seamless and believable. The story moves from murder mystery to international thriller to magical encounters of the terrifying kind. Aubrey herself is a wonderful combination of vulnerable addiction, resourcefulness, keen intelligence, and general all-around bloody-mindedness. I look forward to reading her further adventures!
The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to praise it. Although chocolates and fine imported tea are always welcome.
“Oblique and weird” is my favorite part of the entire review. That’s exactly what I was striving for with my fae-based centaurs. Totally made my day. Thank you Deborah M!
What’s the weirdest compliment you’ve enjoyed?
Tell me in the comments below!